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  1. #1
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    Outrage! - being made to wear pants

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Fatuma Hassan has just enough rice in her near-empty cupboards to make it through the month. The anger she felt when she lost her job in May has given way to a dull, nagging hunger.

    Yet this soft-spoken 22-year-old became an unlikely hero within the Somali community when she and five of her Muslim co-workers were dismissed last month from the Mission Foods tortilla factory in New Brighton, Minn., for refusing to wear a new company uniform -- a shirt and pants -- they consider a violation of their Islamic beliefs.

    "For me, wearing pants is the same as being naked," Hassan said, noting the prophet Mohammed taught that men and women should not dress alike. "My culture, my religious beliefs, are more important than a uniform."


    Click!

    ed: Wonder what OSHA has to say about wearing a dress around factory machinery?

  2. #2
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    It was a violation of their company uniform. terms of service expected of them. IMO.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floh View Post
    It was a violation of their company uniform. terms of service expected of them. IMO.
    It's true. And, likely a safety issue. Let someone get sucked up into a piece of machinery because of their religion and see how fast you get shut down.


  4. #4
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    "Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    Sounds so good, doesn't it? Except, of course, Emma Lazarus forgot that these people also bring baggage along with them.

    IMO Minnesotan get what they ask for when sponsors bring in such large groups of refugees and expect them to assimilate and take on American values, which they are not doing. (This is not to say they should forget their heritage.)

    My neighbor is a manager of a department store. She has had so many problems with Somali men refusing to take orders from a woman that she won't hire Somali men.

    Remember the Muslim school just a few weeks ago that was accused of teaching Islam and anti-American values and didn't know how to put an American flag up outside the school? Well, it's still in operation.

    Then, of course, there was a infamous "we won't transport you in our cab if you have alcohol in your baggage" stance by Somali taxi drivers. (Many airport taxi drivers in the Twin Cities are Muslim.) They also have problems transporting seeing-eye dogs because dogs are considered unclean.

    Then, of course, the St. Paul Public Schools accommodate Islam, excusing students from classes to pray daily.

    So, now they're going to sue because they don't want to wear uniforms. It would be interesting to know where the well-meaning liberals have gone since the Somali and Muslim communities have taken on a life of their own in a fight against established values.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trino View Post
    "So, now they're going to sue because they don't want to wear uniforms. It would be interesting to know where the well-meaning liberals have gone since the Somali and Muslim communities have taken on a life of their own in a fight against established values.

    Snipped for brevity, but for your entire post.

    Well done.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floh View Post
    It was a violation of their company uniform. terms of service expected of them. IMO.
    However, when they were hired they were permitted to wear skirts. The employer changed the terms of employment after they were hired. And, if they really cared about their employees, they could have easily offered or explored alternatives.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    However, when they were hired they were permitted to wear skirts. The employer changed the terms of employment after they were hired. And, if they really cared about their employees, they could have easily offered or explored alternatives.
    There is that! :nods, sagely:

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom View Post
    However, when they were hired they were permitted to wear skirts. The employer changed the terms of employment after they were hired. And, if they really cared about their employees, they could have easily offered or explored alternatives.
    It doesn't matter. For whatever reason. If a company-wide uniform policy is put into place, it's the company's perogative to make (or not) exceptions.

    And for a factory, I can certainly understand why they don't.

    I could understand it if it were a school. Or anything else, actually.

  9. #9
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    FTA:

    Many of the religious discrimination complaints revolve around the Islamic prayer schedule. Praying five times a day is one of the essential pillars of Islam, but prayer times vary daily, based on the times of sunrise and sunset. In July, the difference between the afternoon and sunset prayers can be four hours apart; in December, it's just two hours.

    The changing prayer times can be disruptive to assembly-line manufacturers that maintain assigned break schedules and can't afford to have their workers leave their work stations at unscheduled times. Many Somalis argue that their prayers take no longer than a bathroom break, yet bathroom breaks aren't prohibited.

    Ed: BS. Unless they wash their arms, heads, legs and feet before they go to the bathroom, every time.

    In 2005, 16 workers at Celestica's circuit-board manufacturing plant in Arden Hills were fired or suspended for taking unauthorized breaks at sunset. The changing Islamic prayer schedule was a key reason.

    Faysal Haliye, 43, a Somali refugee and former Celestica employee, said he was heading to the company's prayer room -- a room where each day for two years he dutifully prayed toward Mecca -- when a manager stood near the entrance and ordered him to return to his post as a machine operator.

    "I had been praying my whole life and wanted to continue praying my whole life," he said. "No one had ever told me not to (pray) before."

    Haliye and 22 other workers have since filed a class action lawsuit against Celestica, accusing the company of religious discrimination. The suit is pending.


    Ed: So the factory gives them a prayer room (a place to pray 5(!!) times a day); only they want the people that they're paying to WORK ,to actually WORK when they're needed.

    I don't see how anyone could think Celestica is being intolerant.


    =============
    The Mission Foods clash has also led to a lawsuit. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, filed a religious discrimination complaint on behalf of the women with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    Mission Foods had implemented the new dress code for all factory workers and told its Muslim workers that their traditional clothing was too loose-fitting and posed a safety hazard near machines.


    ed: It's a safety issue.

    =======================

    There is no way I would hire someone who had a mandatory 5 breaks a day and had to be accomodated for their religious dress.

    No way.

  10. #10
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    "After they were hired" may have little meaning. Perhaps their insurance company decided the company needed to change to pants.

    Two years ago Target corportate offices did away with casual Fridays. So, would one expect Target corporate personnel to refuse to comply because they were hired before the policy went into effect?


  11. #11
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    I am sorry but I think this stuff is ridiculous!!!! Everyone has their own customs and beliefs but if they can not conform to your workplace you need to get a job someplace else.

    I am catholic and go to church during my lunch on holy days - not during work time. I don't get/take 5 breaks a day - why should my co-worker? To me that is the discrimination that they are making these exceptions for these groups. What if you hired someone from Spain- would you need to give them their afternoon siesta time - doubt it, but it is their culture.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew657 View Post
    I am sorry but I think this stuff is ridiculous!!!! Everyone has their own customs and beliefs but if they can not conform to your workplace you need to get a job someplace else.

    I am catholic and go to church during my lunch on holy days - not during work time. I don't get/take 5 breaks a day - why should my co-worker? To me that is the discrimination that they are making these exceptions for these groups. What if you hired someone from Spain- would you need to give them their afternoon siesta time - doubt it, but it is their culture.
    Ah, now we have a solution. We could just close all businesses around noon every day. Those who want a power lunch would have an opportunity. Muslims could pray. And, I could have a siesta.

  13. #13
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    You're in America. Get back to work!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
    You're in America. Get back to work!
    Very succinct, Paladin.

    Before we know it we'll be a third world country.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karole28 View Post
    It doesn't matter. For whatever reason. If a company-wide uniform policy is put into place, it's the company's perogative to make (or not) exceptions.

    And for a factory, I can certainly understand why they don't.

    I could understand it if it were a school. Or anything else, actually.
    Absolutely it's the employer's right to change whatever they want. However, the employees also have rights and included in them is the right to quit and file a lawsuit. I was working for a company for over a year, when they changed my hours and I was forced to quit. They fought my unemployment on the basis that I quit. However, I won, because they changed the terms of my employment and I wouldn't have quit except for the change in hours. Also, I've worked HR in manufacturing companies. I know that if the company wanted to, they could work with these women and come up with an alternative.

    I remember a time when companies cared about their employees.

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